Fc gamma receptor-TLR cross-talk elicits pro-inflammatory cytokine production by human M2 macrophages

Nat Commun. 2014 Nov 13;5:5444. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6444.


M2 macrophages suppress inflammation in numerous disorders, including tumour formation, infection and obesity. However, the exact role of M2 macrophages in the context of several other diseases is still largely undefined. We here show that human M2 macrophages promote inflammation instead of suppressing inflammation on simultaneous exposure to complexed IgG (c-IgG) and TLR ligands, as occurs in the context of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). c-IgG-TLR ligand co-stimulation of M2 macrophages selectively amplifies production of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 and promotes Th17 responses, which all play a critical role in RA pathology. Induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines on c-IgG co-stimulation mainly depends on Fc gamma receptor IIa (FcγRIIa), which selectively amplifies cytokine gene transcription and induces caspase-1 activation. These data indicate that FcγR-TLR cross-talk may be targeted for treatment to attenuate inflammation in RA, by restoring the anti-inflammatory function of M2 macrophages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caspase 1 / metabolism
  • Enzyme Activation / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / physiopathology*
  • Interleukin-1beta / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-1beta / physiology*
  • Interleukin-6 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-6 / physiology*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Macrophages / physiology*
  • Receptor Cross-Talk / physiology*
  • Receptors, IgG / metabolism
  • Receptors, IgG / physiology*
  • Th17 Cells / physiology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / physiology*


  • Fc gamma receptor IIA
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Interleukin-6
  • Receptors, IgG
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Caspase 1